The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) has developed a comprehensive national physical development plan to address human settlements as well as other human patterns.
The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba, speaking at Uganda Media Centre, said the developed plan seeks to help in land use planning which is very key.
This does not only help in providing housing but also locating houses appropriately, she said. She revealed that Uganda is facing a housing deficit of approximately 2.4 million units. This needs to be addressed from a multi-sectoral approach.
“Various players including financial institutions, real estate developers, civil society and community-based organizations, housing cooperatives, SACCOS, investment and community savings groups are very critical in mobilizing both formal and non-formal housing finance for affordable housing,” she said.
Nabakooba said that the government is aiming at focusing on slums to help communities there not only to survive the health crises but also thrive in the world that comes afterwards.
The minister said that a national housing symposium will be held during the commemoration of world habitat day under the theme “Affordable and Inclusive housing solutions for all.”
She noted that the symposium which is to be held on October 7th will bring together different key stakeholders in the lands and housing sector such as property developers, real estate investors, contractors and outstanding members of society among others.
“The symposium will provide a venue for showcasing and discussing innovative solutions to accessible inclusive affordable and decent housing. An environment for sharing best practices in delivering affordable housing to the majority of the society,” she explained.
As stated by Nabakooba, the symposium is to provide a sector-wide platform for showcasing innovations, which support access to decent, affordable and inclusive housing, addressing affordability and habitability.
The minister cited Habitat for Humanity Uganda as one of the organizations which have transformed the lives of Ugandans by building 200,000 houses for 1.5 million people.
Affordable housing solutions
According to Robert Otim, the National Director of Habitat for Humanity Uganda, they have provided technical assistance and affordable housing solutions to over 10 financial institutions that have supported millions of Ugandans.
“We are yet to launch the rural model house which was built with interlocking soil stabilized blocks and also the urban prototype in Garuga Entebbe. These two houses cost Shs18m and Shs32m respectively. These are some of the approaches that we use to increase and enable more Ugandans to access low-cost housing,” he said.
World Habitat Day is marked on the first Monday of October each year. It is recognized by the United Nations to reflect on the state of towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter.
However, in Uganda, the day has been pushed to be commemorated on Friday 7th of this week at Speke Resort Munyonyo to allow other stakeholders in the housing sector to prepare appropriately.